Here is an interesting article at Bnet Magazine (www.bnet.com) — one of my favorite websites because the things written here are perfect for OrCom professionals like me. (really?!) — where the author talks about women, sex and the workplace.
Sounds like a movie title, but honestly this is an interesting insight of a male author regarding how women should present themselves in the work place.
BTW, to anyone who might have read this blog last year.. dun dun dun dun… I’m already an OrCom professional!!!
So, I really am sorry for those people who have asked me a question but I haven’t had the chance to reply at their messages.
I was actually busy… ummm… and my dog died… ok I don’t have a dog… well, my pet iguana had a heart attack…. but I don’t know if iguanas had heart attacks since they are cold-blooded and they don’t have a heart… (get it?! cold-blooded = evil. HAHA. crap that was seriously lame) No, honestly I don’t exactly have a viable reason why I haven’t updated but the important thing is… I’m back!!!!
And after being on a hiatus in this communication blog, I promise to update this as much as possible, because… well… ok I’m updating this on a whim and some other noble reason that I will think of later.
Ok enough ranting, the article I was talking about on my first sentence is located below 🙂
Sexual Politics for Young Women in Sales Jobs
By Geoffrey James | August 4, 2010
If you haven’t bookmarked Penelope Trunk’s Free Beer blog on BNET, you’re missing some really interesting discussions about business. Her most recent post destroys the tired myth that men make more than women — a “factoid” that’s based upon invalid statistics.
In that post, however, Ms. Trunk provides some lousy advice to her fellow young women about sexual politics. And since the majority of new sales pros are women, I thought I’d provide my own observations as a counterweight. Ms. Trunk advises:
“Don’t pretend to be a guy at work. Don’t dress like a guy by wearing boring suits. Show some cleavage – yup, you read that right – because guys like working with women they are attracted to. And show some leg because it’s fun – legs are the easiest thing to flaunt and the last thing to go. Women who dress like women move up the ladder faster because men think those women are smarter.”
Her statement is basically correct, but she’s badly misinterpreting what’s going on. Men don’t really think that attractive women are
smarter than unattractive women. What’s actually happening is that — no matter how ridiculous and impossible such thing might be — they’re thinking in the back of their brain that they might get some action. As a result, a man will almost always treat an attractive woman more nicely than an unattractive one.
However, this power over men’s minds is a double-edged sword. Women who lay it on too heavily or too long run the risk of being seen as manipulative. That was probably the real lesson behind the infamous sales rep Debrahlee Lorenzana who got in trouble at her workplace for coming off too sexy.
Contrary to popular female belief, men aren’t complete idiots. Even a man with plenty of Neanderthal DNA will eventually get to the point where his big brain tells his little brain to “shut the eff up and let me get some freakin’ work done.”
More importantly, dressing too sexy can close off an important avenue to fast track success: getting mentored. While exceptions no doubt exist, it’s my observation that older women (Ms. Trunk calls them “bitchy, outdated ranters“) aren’t interesting in mentoring young women. Sad to say, older women tend to see younger women as threats and dressing sexy just makes that situation worse.
For a typical (albeit exaggerated) example of female “mentoring”, check out the movie “The Devil Wears Prada.” In that film, the older female character (Meryl Streep) mentors the younger female (Anne Hathaway) by treating her like crap and then dumping her the minute she shows some independence.
In most cases, if a young woman is going to be mentored, it’s going to be by an older man. And unless she plans on sleeping her way to the top, what a young woman wants is an older man who sees her as a daughter figure and therefore out-of-bounds as as sexual partner.
A really great movie that investigates this dynamic is “Up in the Air”where the George Clooney character, though a bit of a rake, does not pursue the young woman (Anna Kendrick), but instead helps her achieve her career goals, even though her success will mean the end of the job he loves.
What about younger men? That’s a slightly different story. The right role there for a young woman is to become “one of the team”, but not “one of the boys.” To do that, she should dress attractively, but never overly sexy, and never, ever, EVER flirt with team members — unless you plan on sleeping with them. Think Elaine on the old TV show Seinfeld.
So Ms. Trunk is right about dressing attractively, and maybe showing a bit of cleavage, but it’s a BIG mistake to turn up the amperage. Dressing too sexy will sour your relationships with other women (especially older ones), alienate the men your own age, and irritate the older men who might otherwise be willing to mentor.
READERS: I realize that the above is chock full of my personal opinions. But, gee, I’m calling it like I see it and I’ve seen plenty.
I think Mr. Geoffrey James is right, at this age and time, though women are given more freedom to dress and flaunt what they want, there is a limit to everything.
Women who dress like women move up the ladder faster because men think those women are smarter
Really?! Nah I don’t think so. And in my opinion, I do not think that the perception of male employees on the intellect or competency of their female co-worker are only dependent on how prettily or sexily those women dress. Sure, we (as in including me) can impress male co-workers in presenting ourselves properly but to show some cleavage?!
Will that make them think “Wow nice boobs, she must be VERY intelligent” on the contrary, if we dress too sexily I think that they may actually interpret that as a female who are flaunting herself too much and relies on her looks and body to get what she wants rather than her other “assets” who cannot be seen physically.
If a woman dress too sexily or shows too much skin, I think the only male employees who she may impress are those buffoons who think of women as an object rather than as a co-worker. How will you get the respect of a co-worker, male or female, if you dress up as a flagrantly accessible woman in your work place?
This is just my opinion, and I do not think that I am an uptight person nor an exaggerated conservative, I actually am open to a lot of things, I even support same-sex marriage and such, but this topic is just a perfect example of how some women in the workplace demands respect from men yet they commit actions that may have the opposite consequence.